Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion

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 on: April 02, 2014, 02:37:43 PM 
Started by Class_of_2017 - Last post by Miami88
According to law school transparency, both Duke and UChicago have approx. the same placement stats for clerkships and big law.:

Duke Fed. Clerk: 13%
Duke BigLaw: 51%

UChic Fed. Clerk: 14%
UChic BigLaw: 56%

If you really want to live in Chicago or elsewhere in the mid-west, then I would lean more towards UChicago. If you don't really care where you end up and/or are interested in the east coast, it seems like Duke is the better offer (less debt, and you said you prefer the environment).

That said, I am just offering a cursory opinion. Your decision should be much more thorough than my three sentence one...

Good Luck!

 on: April 02, 2014, 01:46:21 PM 
Started by Class_of_2017 - Last post by Class_of_2017
Hi All!

Trying to decide between attending Duke on a 90k scholarship (COA about $150k) and attending Chicago on a 45k scholarship (COA about $215k).   I think I'd prefer Duke (better weather, probably less competitive of environment, lower COL), but Chicago's placement in Biglaw/Clerkships makes that option really attractive.  My goal is is ultimately a federal clerkship, but if that isn't possible, I'd want to go straight into Biglaw anywhere other than NYC (hopefully).  Although NYC Biglaw would be okay if it's the only market I can crack.

No savings, debts, or family support.  Funding would be completely done through loans. 

Thanks for the help!   

 on: April 02, 2014, 11:11:18 AM 
Started by ItsTribbey - Last post by Citylaw
The posters above offer great advice, but do realize this anyone posting on this board or others is nothing more than an anonymous Internet poster, my post included. Therefore, none of us have the right answer or know what will work at X school or what decision is best for you.

With that said it sounds like being close to the Orlando area is important and in my opinion location should always be priority #1. Maybe you have a girlfriend, family, friends, etc nearby or a job or who knows what, but if you want to be in a particular area then attend law school in that area. Law school is intense particularly 1L and you will not have time to go on trips etc you will be more or less stuck in the City you attend school in at least for 1L. If you have a support group in X city that can really assist you get through law school, which will be a very difficult chapter in your life.

As for the costs like everyone else says ask. Tell them you like their school, but X school is offering you X in scholarship money and you can't justify spending X amount more at X school. They will often come back with a 5,000-10,000 scholarship.

You should also be careful of any stipulations. I see the 2.25 GPA, which sounds pretty reasonable, but each law school has their own curve and law school is much different than undergrad everyone is smart, hard-working, and motivated and 100% of people think they will be in the top 10%.

I imagine a 2.25 means u need to finish in the top 75%, which means there is a 25% chance you will not have your scholarship year 2 and 3. However, I don't know the schools exact curve, but you should definetly ask. It is question potentially worth 10,000+

A final thing to do is visit each school. Each school has a culture to it and some you will like others you won't. The only person capable of knowing what you like best is you. Therefore, you should visit the schools talk to professors, students, admins, walk around the campus etc and you will get a feeling.

I know when I was a 0L visiting schools there were some I hated and others I loved. You will likely love one of these schools after a visit and not like another. Your gut will give you a feeling and it is very important to listen to that.

At the end of the day there is no "right" answer. No matter what school you choose there will be a what if feeling, but you will eventually have to choose one. The real truth is that no matter what school you attend whether it works out will have a lot more to do with you than the school.

Good Luck

 on: April 01, 2014, 02:36:16 PM 
Started by ItsTribbey - Last post by ItsTribbey
Thanks for all of your help!  I've put in my respectful requests, and am now just waiting.  It is getting to be crunch time though!!!

 on: March 31, 2014, 08:39:22 PM 
Started by futureoptimist - Last post by Citylaw
Agreed do not become a paralegal for the purpose of law school admissions. It might be a good idea to become a paralegal to see what the legal world is like or obtain a paralegal certificate to have a crash course for law school.

I actually obtained a paralegal certificate and worked as a paralegal to see if law school was right for me and I think it is a good idea to do those things, but certainly not necessary.

If your mind is set up to attend law school then do everything you can to boost your GPA and retake the LSAT.

With a 2.5 and 150 there might be a few schools you could get into, but if you really think you can improve your LSAT score go for it. However, many people do not apply themselves fully it is very difficult to do I am capable of having six pack abs, jacked arms, being in good enough condition to run marathon. However, I eat the occassional burrito, do not do 1,000 push ups  ad sit ups a day, or jog 10 miles every day. Those are things most people "could" do, but very few take the time to do.

Obtaining better grades or even really buckling for the LSAT are the same. On top of that there are just natural limitations, but if you really study and put in a good faith effort for your standards on the LSAT see what you get. It may end up being a 150, but if you can boost it up great.

Same thing with the 4.0 I hope you get it, but I think everyone wants to get a 4.0, but making it happen is the hard part.

Bottom line is you can attend law school if you boost your GPA a little and have a sufficient LSAT score. 150 is sufficient to get into a few schools, but you are unlikely to obtain any scholarship money. Additionally, if law school is really what you want you can make it happen.

Good luck to you.

 on: March 31, 2014, 08:00:16 PM 
Started by Bobbytermechi - Last post by Citylaw
Again, I do not think anyone on the internet should be making the decision for you. I encourage you to visit Pepperdine, LMU, and Southwestern.

What financial factors are at issue?

Also do not be afraid to negotiate for scholarship money tell Pepperdine and LMU you are considering Southwestern due to the scholarship offer and they will likely throw 5-10k your way. They may not, but you have nothing to lose by asking.

I think Pepperdine is far and away one of the most beautiful campuses in America and if I was in your shoes I would go there, but I am not you so it doesn't really matter what I think.

There is no "right' answer. Any of these schools will provide you with a solid education, but if you really want to end up in California I do not think attending school in Minnesota is a good idea. However, I am just some guy on the internet so take my advice with a  grain of salt.

 on: March 31, 2014, 05:59:14 PM 
Started by Bobbytermechi - Last post by Bobbytermechi
I really appreciate the time you guys took to give me advice.  It was very helpful!  I did apply to LA schools and got into Pepperdine and Loyola with no scholarship and Southwestern with about a 57% scholarship.  The reason I was not really considering these schools is due to the financial factors.  Do you believe it is worth the extra money?  If so, which of these options would you choose?

 on: March 31, 2014, 11:58:19 AM 
Started by futureoptimist - Last post by Maintain FL 350
Funny, I was in the process of responding to this post the other night but we had an earthquake so I had to stop. Gotta love California!

As Miami88 has stated, don't spend a couple of years working as a paralegal just because you want a boost in terms of law school admissions. Only do it if you want to be a paralegal.

Soft factors such as employment can make a difference if they are truly unique, formative experiences. Stuff like Peace Corps, teaching in an impoverished district, working at a non profit public interest organization, etc. Working as a paralegal doesn't fall into that category. In fact, it's common law school applicants to have paralegal experience. It will make very little difference, and won't overcome a low GPA or LSAT.

Despite the lip service law schools pay to "looking at the whole applicant", admission is very much a numbers game. Once you have your final GPA and LSAT score you will have a very good idea of where you'll get in and where you won't.

If you're looking to maximize your chances I would suggest 1) maximizing your remaining GPA, and 2) maximizing your LSAT score by taking the time to really prepare, including a prep class.

If you feel that you want to gain some resume experience, I'd look at fields that law schools might actually pay attention to.

Also, (and please don't take this as snarky criticism)  you may want to consider whether law school is the right choice for you. Law school is much, much more difficult than undergrad, and the exams you will be required to take in order to graduate and get licensed make college and the LSAT look like kindergarten. If you had a tough time with college and the LSAT, you may want to think about this before spending $150,000 on a JD.

Lastly, you should consider what you want to do after law school, and whether or not your goals can be realistically met. I say that because with a 2.5 GPA you won't be going to Harvard or Stanford, and it's statistically unlikely that you'll score 175 on the next LSAT. If you do go to law school it will most likely be at a lower tier school. That's not necessarily a problem, but you may need to modify your expectations.

So, if your goal is to be a partner at a major NYC firm, or to work at the United Nations, you may want to reconsider. However, if your goal is to open your own office and handle divorces, that's different.   

 on: March 30, 2014, 08:42:01 PM 
Started by Meghankb - Last post by Citylaw
You will not be shutting yourself off completely, it is certainly possible to get a job in New York from Temple, but it will be much harder to get a job in New York if your attending school in Philly. When the stress of actually finding a job choosing where to take the bar etc becomes real and it will during 3L the odds are if your at Temple you will get a job in Philly and take the PA Bar. If your in New York you will likely get a job in NY and take the NY Bar. 

As for additional money keep pushing for it. It seems like the only thing really stopping you from choosing Cardozo is the money and let them know that and even give them a financial breakdown. You already got more by asking, but keeping asking for more. Be a pest and get the best possible deal for yourself this is a 3 year $100,000 commitment and you should pull out all the stops.

Also visit both schools and really see how you feel about them. Talking to the profs, seeing the campus, etc will give you a lot of insight.

With all that there is no right answer no matter what school you attend there will a "what if", but that is part of the selection process. I know making the commitment is very stressful I did it years ago and it drove me crazy, but once you finally make the choice it is relieving and realistically you can make anything happen if you put your mind to it.

Good luck.

 on: March 30, 2014, 04:07:13 PM 
Started by Meghankb - Last post by Meghankb
Thank you both for your responses it has helped me organize my thoughts a little more. I guess my biggest question is, if I choose to go to temple for financial reasons, will I be shutting myself out of the New York City legal market? Or will it be plausible for me to get a job there when I graduate. I know most firms recruit regionally unless you go to a top 20 school, but Philly is pretty close to New York. Also, I already negotiated more money out of Cardozo, they originally offered me $20k but was able to get them to increase to $28k. My other thought was to just tell them that I'm going to have to commit to Temple and see if they give me more money last minute. Thoughts?

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